finance – Opus Magnum
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Faculty, Global Business, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

The Weigh-In: Why Does Cyprus Matter?


The European Union is once again facing a significant financial crisis as Cyprus has pushed Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain from the headlines. How can such a small country – with fewer than one million citizens – have such a large impact on the global economy? The answer is complicated, much like the March 25 bailout agreement between the troika – the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank (ECB).

The agreement with the Cypriot government paves way for Cyprus to receive a €10 billion bailout. In return, Cyprus has agreed to downsize its large financial sector and undertake a macroeconomic adjustment program that will require fiscal consolidation, structural reforms and privatizations (among other concessions). In return, the ECB will continue to provide emergency liquidity assistance to Cyprus banks.

Read the rest of this post in the UST Newsroom

Lalith Samarakoon is professor and chair of the Department of Finance in the Opus College of Business. As a financial economist, Samarakoon has two decades of advisory experience in financial sector reforms and development, and public debt management. He teaches Global Finance Issues and Policy: Eurozone Debt Crisis.

Newsroom, OCB Commentary

President’s Day – Second to Black Friday for Sales

Happy President’s Day! Are you going shopping today — looking for a new car or a great deal on a mattress? Why does it seem like there are so many sales on President’s Day? Here’s some background:

Established in 1885, the holiday was originally created to honor George Washington and held on his birthday, Feb. 22. It became known as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents after it was moved to the third Monday of every February, in order to create a three-day weekend for workers. Today, that extended weekend comes in handy as retailers take the opportunity to create a shopping bonanza second only to Black Friday.

According to a survey by retail site Shop It To Me, “February is the month of the year with the best sales – a distinction driven by Presidents’ Day deals.”  Donovan Ramsey noted on the personal finance website Farnoosh: Continue Reading

Ethics, Faculty, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Should Wall Street be afraid of the new rules established by the Dodd-Frank Act?

Aristotle Fund class candid
Should Wall Street be afraid of the new rules established by the Dodd-Frank Act? For more than 30 years until the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act, the hedge-fund industry had resisted attempts by the Securities and Exchange Commission to register hedge-fund managers. The SEC’s last attempt to register hedge-fund managers failed in 2006 when the United States District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in Goldstein v. SEC vacated the registration of hedge-fund managers by the SEC as arbitrary. All hedge-fund managers who had registered with the SEC under the invalidated rule deregistered after the Goldstein decision.

The industry’s opposition to regulatory oversight can be traced back to several factors. Since the inception of the hedge-fund industry, hedge-fund managers considered regulatory oversight an infringement on their ability to generate absolute returns. Hedge-funds evolved in a regulatory environment that allowed them through so-called safe harbors to stay exempt from regulatory oversight. Hedge-funds’ ability to operate without regulatory oversight facilitated successful hedge-fund launches, generated higher returns and attracted investors.

The Dodd-Frank Act appears to be the last chapter in the debate on hedge-fund adviser registration and disclosure. Title IV of the Dodd-Frank Act authorized the SEC to register hedge-fund managers and demand enhanced disclosure. The SEC now requires the disclosure of financing information, risk metrics, strategies and products used by hedge-fund managers, performance and changes in performance, positions held by the investment adviser, percentage counterparties and credit exposure, assets traded using algorithms, and the percentage of equity and debt, among others.

Read the complete article in St. Thomas Lawyer.

About the Author: Wulf Kaal is an associate professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. Before entering the academy, he graduated with a Ph.D., J.D., M.B.A. and LL.M. and worked for Cravath, Swaine & Moore, L.L.P., in New York City and Goldman Sachs in London. Kaal specializes in hedge-fund regulation, international finance, European law and corporate law securities regulation. He has published in leading European law and finance journals and leading American law reviews.

Career Services, Newsroom, OCB Alumni

UST in Photos: Career Opportunity Fair

We’re kicking off “Career Week” here on Opus Magnum this week, as for many students this is the prime-time to kick-start your job or internship search – yes, if you are looking for a work opportunity for the summer, you should be networking and applying now. So, to start things off, we have a recap of our recent Career Opportunity Fair, where many of our students got a chance to connect with employers from around the Twin Cities.

The University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business held its Fall Career Opportunity Fair on Friday, November 16 in the Law School Atrium.  52 companies from a wide variety of industries participated with over 175 students and alumni in attendance. The UST brand was out in force and the immediate results were at least 5 interviews coming from the event. Continue Reading

Centers, Ethics, Events, leadership, Media, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

From Fool’s Gold to Financial Integrity

On the surface, what had all the markings of an evening filled with six-syllable words and finger wagging turned out to be informative and insightful even to the simple mind of this marketer.

In the eyes of Joe Nocera, the 2008 financial crisis was not about a failure of ethics, but a failure of incentives to align with broader social goals.

Nocera’s perspective is that during the decades of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, affiliations between commercial banks and securities firms were limited. Starting in the 60s, regulators began interpreting provisions that allowed commercial banks and their affiliates (commercial banks are federally backed while securities firms aren’t) to engage in more and more securities-type activities). By 1999, when the act was repealed, it was widely argued that it had been effectively dead for some time. Continue Reading

Centers, Ethics, Events, Faculty, Newsroom

CEBC: Restoring Integrity to Our Financial System

From Fool’s Gold to Financial Integrity – a special event featuring New York Times columnist Joe Nocera on Tuesday, November 13, at 4:30 p.m.

The Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC) invites you to reflect on the lessons and insights on the banking and financial crisis gleaned by Joe Nocera, one of America’s leading business journalists and a regular columnist for the New York Times. What do we need to understand about failures in the private sector as well as in regulation of our complex financial system? What dynamic undercut stated commitments to ethics and corporate responsibility?

We will also consider the difficulties faced by organizations and institutions as they are buffeted by the intense competition and high pressure incentives that characterize our financial sector. In a dog-eat-dog environment, how can organizations resist pressures to compromise business and ethical standards? How can they instill a greater sense of ethics, integrity and responsibility to all stakeholders? Continue Reading

EveningMBA, Events, Executive MBA, FTMBA, Global Business, Health Care MBA, Local business, Newsroom, OCB Alumni

Master’s Pub: Stories From the Sale of a Successful Tech Company

Jack JuddCompellent Technologies, an Eden Prairie-based provider of highly-virtualized storage solutions with automated data management features, including tiering and thin provisioning, for enterprise and cloud-computing environments was acquired by Dell in February 2011. At that time Jack Judd, an alumnus of both the undergraduate and graduate programs at St. Thomas, was Compellent’s chief financial officer.

Judd, ’99 M.B.A.,  will be on campus for the Opus College of Business Master’s Pub on September 28 to share his stories from the sale of a successful tech company. Graduate business students and alumni are invited to attend the event. Free beer, wine, soft drinks and pizza will be available. Continue Reading

Career Services, EveningMBA, Newsroom

Evening UST MBA Profile: Vince Schultz

Vince Schultz tutors UST undergraduate and graduate students in accounting and finance. He never misses a Saturday Badger football game at UW-Madison, and he and his wife are preparing to welcome their first baby this summer. He is also an Evening UST MBA student.

Vince grew up in Plymouth, MN before attending UW-Madison where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. Upon graduation, during a career exploration phase, Vince worked at Spectrum Brands in Madison (Rayovac batteries, Repel insect repellent) in account management and sales. By the time Vince and his girlfriend (now wife) moved to Washington, D.C. a few years later for her medical studies, Vince was clear on two points of passion in his professional pursuits – finance and accounting. Continue Reading

Faculty, Newsroom

Cross-border Joint Ventures – 5 Questions for Prof. Georgieva

To highlight our faculty research, we’re introducing a new Q&A column today on Opus Magnum. Dobrina Georgieva, Ph.D., assistant professor in the finance department recently presented her research on the impact of laws, regulations, and culture on cross-border joint ventures. Here then are five questions with Prof. Georgieva.

Q. How would you summarize your research on cross-border joint ventures?

Dobrina Georgieva, Ph.D.

A. My research is focused on factors that impact cross-border co-operations between firms in the form of joint ventures. I discovered that there are two types of factors that have a significant impact. On one hand, the laws and regulations around the world impact the likelihood that firms will be involved in cross-border transactions. On the other hand, and equally important, the cultural norms, religions, ethnicity and openness of the country impact the way managers make decisions. These factors impact investors’ confidence in the financial markets and overall stock returns and risk.

Q. Why is this topic of interest to you? Continue Reading

FTMBA, Newsroom, Student Life

What is a Case Competition Worth?

The ACG Cup is a case study competition designed to give students from leading MBA programs across the country real-world experience and invaluable insights into mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, financial advisory and private equity. Each case study provides students with a unique opportunity to present valuation, capital markets and M&A strategic advice to a panel of seasoned M&A professionals from within the ACG community. The competition is carried out through a series of intra-school and regional competitions, with regional winners awarded the prestigious ACG Cup title and cash awards.

This year’s participating schools included the Tippie College of Business from the University of Iowa, The Carlson School from the University of Minnesota and the Opus College of Business at University of St. Thomas.

This past week the St. Thomas team of Kyle Jorgenson, Ted Long, Gurkan Peksoz, Bhakti Raicha, and Brett Wong brought home the second place award making this the third year in a row that UST has placed in the competition.

This was the first year that I had the opportunity to attend this event and I was pleasantly surprised at what I experienced. Continue Reading